Mitigating Cloud Migration Risks: Strategies and Best Practices

When companies migrate to the cloud, they move business operations into an online, digital space. The process involves ...

When companies migrate to the cloud, they move business operations into an online, digital space. The process involves transferring data, applications, and IT processes from on-premise data centers usually owned by cloud service providers. The ultimate goal is to leverage cloud computing and scalable storage while mitigating cloud migration risks.

As more organizations harness the power of the cloud, understanding the risks is critical. The IT team must identify and manage threats to cloud migration to ensure an incident-free transition. Achieving this requires a robust strategy and adherence to best practices. 

So if you’re interested in mitigating cloud migration risks, dive into the rest of this article!

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Table of Contents

Common Cloud Migration Risks

Migrating to the cloud does not present more risks than managing on-premises systems. In fact, many IT professionals would argue it is safer because you can share the responsibility of securing networks and data with the Cloud Service Provider (CSP). However, it does introduce new risks. Let’s take a look at some of those:

Data Breaches and Cyber Attacks

The vast amount of data stored in the cloud can attract the interest of hackers. A data breach occurs when unauthorized individuals gain access to confidential data. The consequences of data breaches can be severe, ranging from financial losses to damage to the company's reputation and potential legal ramifications. IBM estimates that data breach costs in 2022 averaged $4.35 million around the world and $9.44 million in America.

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The specific risk of remote cyber attacks is more pronounced in a cloud environment, and hackers can strike during migration. Cyber criminals can also exploit vulnerabilities in cloud services to gain unauthorized access or disrupt cloud-based operations. Attacks like these can lead to data loss or corruption, downtime, and even a total operation halt.

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Compliance Risks With Data Privacy Laws and Regulations

Data in transit from on-premises systems to the cloud can face new and more stringent data privacy and protection laws. These laws may vary by region and data type, which adds to the complexity and cloud migration risks. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines, legal complications, and damage to the company's reputation. Forbes reports that 2022 GDPR fines alone reached €2.92 billion (approximately $3.23 billion USD) with Meta facing the biggest fines.

Take a look at our other article for more information on how to stay compliant during migration.

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Cloud computing involves storing and processing data in a shared environment, which can increase the risk of non-compliance with privacy regulations. For example, some governments require access to user data, which violates the rights of users in other countries. TikTok faced a lot of privacy concerns for this reason and has worked hard to reassure U.S. users that their data is stored on American soil and not subject to release to foreign governments.

Operational and Service Disruption Risks

Operational risks include potential downtime and service disruptions that can significantly hinder business operations. Transitioning to the cloud requires relying on the CSP's infrastructure, which can make these disruptions harder to predict or diagnose. These incidents can negatively impact the company's ability to serve customers, subsequently impacting the company's reputation and bottom line.

For example, imagine a company uses Amazon for its cloud storage needs. Amazon then faces a DDoS attack and decides to take some of its servers offline. When it “goes dark,” so does the cloud-based operations of its clients tied to affected servers. Some companies maintain local backup systems so that they can stay functional during cloud migration risks like this. But this adds huge complications for many companies

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Service disruptions in a cloud storage context can also result in data unavailability. This is particularly problematic in data-driven industries, such as insurance or taxes. Having contingency plans to mitigate any potential service disruptions and ensure business continuity is crucial.

Performance Issues

Although cloud storage offers scalability and flexibility, it's not without performance challenges. For instance, data retrieval might be slower than expected if the CSP stores data in distant locations or during high network congestion.

Also, cloud services might be afflicted with "noisy neighbor" issues. This happens when multiple users share the same infrastructure, and one user's heavy workload can degrade the performance for other users.

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These issues can cause high latency, slow upload, download speeds, or inconsistent network connections. They affect an organization's operational efficiency and emphasize the need for comprehensive performance monitoring.

Lack of Control Cloud Infrastructure

The cloud service provider maintains control over the infrastructure. Sometimes, this can lead to cloud migration risks like transparency and customization. This lack of visibility can be particularly concerning when complying with data sovereignty laws and meeting other regulatory requirements.


The inherent lack of control over cloud infrastructure can also limit how a business customizes its cloud environment. Organizations must depend on features and configuration options provided by cloud service providers.

Cost Risks

Cloud services generally offer pay-as-you-go models that can be cost-effective. Even so, businesses may encounter hidden expenses such as data egress charges, fees for premium features, or costs incurred from overprovisioning resources. These costs can climb quickly if the resource demand exceeds initial estimates.

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If you’re looking for a cloud based system to store legacy archive data, look no further than Expireon. Data egress charges? What are they?

Additionally, data transfer costs for large data volumes can add to the total expense. Companies must clearly understand their data storage needs and associated costs before embarking on the cloud migration journey. Read all the fine print and budget accordingly.

Overprovisioning or Underprovisioning Resources

Overprovisioning cloud migration risks happen when companies allocate more resources than necessary. This can lead to increased costs without providing additional benefits. Failing to operate efficiently can lead to opportunity costs for the company.

On the other hand, underprovisioning happens when organizations don't allocate sufficient resources to meet the demands of cloud-based applications and services. Companies also often need to source additional capital on short notice to cover the cost of filling the gaps.

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This practice hinders performance and can cause significant business disruptions. Services that don’t function optimally can lead to a number of negative consequences: 

  • Decreased productivity
  • Unsatisfactory user experience for employees
  • Poor customer service
  • Loss of business

Overprovisioning and underprovisioning doesn’t occur with our cloud native migration platform, ReMAD. In fact, we chose Kubernetes as the core of the platform for its ability to scale up and scale back, on-demand, with ease.

Integration and Compatibility Risks

Mismatches between the existing IT infrastructure and the new cloud environment can create integration issues. For example, differences in system architectures, platforms, or coding languages may result in compatibility issues. Discrepancies like these can lead to operational inefficiencies, data corruption, or even data loss during migration.

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Integration issues may prevent the organization from fully leveraging the capabilities and benefits of the cloud environment. Consequently, ongoing monitoring, regular updates, and periodic compatibility checks are crucial to optimize cloud usage and reduce cloud migration risks.

Data Loss or Corruption During Migration

Despite the numerous advantages of cloud migration, it opens the door to one of the most severe threats: data loss or corruption. Data is many organizations' most valuable asset, and any loss or damage can have catastrophic ramifications. 

Data corruption may sometimes result from file alterations that make the files unusable. This could result in significant business disruptions, financial loss, and damage to the organization's reputation. During the migration process, data loss can result from various reasons:

  • Technical errors
  • Accidental deletions
  • Cyber attacks

Even in the post-migration phase, these threats persist in a cloud environment. For instance, data stored in the cloud can still be vulnerable to hacking attempts, errors, or system failures. Additionally, some cloud service providers may not have adequate backup and recovery procedures, further exacerbating the risk.

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Before choosing your cloud migration platform make sure it has robust chain of custody features which ensure that data loss or corruption can not occur.

Difficulty Auditing and Tracking Cloud Activity

The complexity of cloud auditing and tracking stems from the way the cloud works. The cloud handles vast amounts of data and operations from multiple users at once. Consequently, keeping track of all activities becomes a daunting task. This situation poses a significant risk as it could lead to unauthorized access and data misuse.


The distributed architecture of the cloud can make auditing difficult. Traditional auditing methods may not be as effective or feasible in a cloud environment. As a result, businesses may need help to ensure the correct, compliant, and safe use of cloud services.

Strategies and Best Practices for Overcoming Cloud Migration Risks

No company can fully escape the threats to cloud security, but they can take steps to reduce the attack surface and minimize vulnerabilities. Here are best practices worth following:

  • Assess compatibility across the organization before deciding on cloud solutions.
  • Modernize the organization before moving to the cloud, with integration and compatibility being the main goals.
  • Review the CSP's shared responsibilities model carefully to ensure the IT team understands which entity becomes responsible for each security strategy and task.
  • Train employees on identifying and responding to risks at all levels to ensure comprehensive protection against threats.

How Cloudficient Can Alleviate Cloud Migration Risks

At Cloudficient, we designed our migration services to mitigate the risks of the process. We conduct thorough pre-migration assessments, compatibility testing, and extensive planning. In addition to that, we always suggest a proof of concept, in your environment, with your users and your data.

Our end-to-end encrypted transfer system ensures data is secure, so that we can avoid data loss or corruption. We also consider the organization's busiest days and hours when scheduling migrations. Finally, we assist with backup strategies and other steps that mitigate cloud migration risks post-migration. Contact us for more information.

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